How to appear before the IUB without an attorney as a pro se litigant (Party)
The following general information is for appearing pro se, without an attorney, at contested case hearings and other proceedings conducted by the IUB. This information is provided as a benefit to pro se parties and is not legal authority. Those appearing without legal counsel are advised to review the actual statutes, administrative rules, and other guidance relevant to appearing in their case. This information is not legal advice. If you intend to appear at hearings or other proceedings conducted by the IUB, you should consider obtaining legal advice or representation in the proceeding.
I. Request to participate pro se
To participate in a contested case or other proceeding before the IUB, you must file a pleading requesting to appear. A contested case proceeding is a docket in which your legal rights, duties, or privileges are to be determined after a hearing. The pleading is usually a petition to intervene as a party in the proceeding. A link to a model petition to intervene is available on the IUB's Forms and Applications webpage.
If you are an affected landowner or filed an objection in an electric franchise or pipeline permit docket and wish to participate in a hearing, you can either file to intervene or you may attend the hearing and ask the IUB to allow you to participate, give testimony, or ask questions. If you have not intervened, the IUB will decide whether to allow you to participate.
Intervention means you are a party to the docket and you have the same rights and obligations as any other party.
As a party you may:
- Conduct discovery of other parties; that is, ask written questions of the other parties before the hearing.
- File pleadings that request IUB action or are in response to other parties’ requests for IUB action.
- File the prepared testimony of yourself or other witnesses. Prepared testimony is a document with written questions and answers that address the issues you want to raise with regard to the docket or in response to prepared testimony of other parties.
- Appear at the hearing and present testimony, cross-examine witnesses, and raise issues with the IUB about the evidence.
- File post-hearing briefs as allowed by the IUB.
As a party your responsibilities are to:
- Conduct yourself in a manner consistent with the standard of conduct for attorneys.
- Meet the procedural deadlines adopted by the IUB in a procedural schedule.
- Respond to other parties’ discovery requests.
III. Appearance at hearing
A hearing before the IUB is similar to a trial in Iowa district court. The parties appear before the three-member Board and present witnesses, cross-examine other parties’ witnesses, and take other action as required. Under IUB procedures, direct testimony is prepared and prefiled in the docket, so most examination of witnesses is cross-examination by opposing parties.
A party is allowed to offer additional evidence in the form of hearing exhibits. Admission of hearing exhibits is at the discretion of the IUB. Hearing exhibits are required to be filed in the IUB electronic filing system following the hearing.
IV. Post-hearing participation
Following the hearing and the filing of post-hearing briefs, if any, the IUB will review all the evidence and testimony filed and presented in the evidentiary hearing, deliberate, and issue an order with its decision, addressing the issues presented. Once the IUB’s final decision and order is issued, parties have the opportunity to request reconsideration and/or seek district court judicial review if they wish. Parties must request reconsideration within the timeframes set forth by chapter 17A and sections 476.12, 476.13, 478.32, 479.32, and 479B.22 of the Iowa Code. Filing for judicial review in district court must follow requirements in Iowa Code section 17A.19.
To file with the IUB, please review the Make a Filing with the IUB page.
V. How to file comments or objections in a docket without appearing as a pro se litigant (party)
The IUB welcomes comments or objections on proceedings that come before the Board. Written comments may be filed using the IUB's online open docket comment form and will be placed into the specific docket in the IUB's electronic filing system (EFS).
Questions about IUB procedures or how to file in EFS, efs.iowa.gov, should be directed to IUB Customer Service personnel at ITsupport@iub.iowa.gov or 515-725-7300. You may also contact the Office of Consumer Advocate at IowaOCA@oca.iowa.gov or 515-725-7200, or consult with your own attorney.
NOTE: Direct communication with members of the IUB in a contested case proceeding is prohibited by Iowa Code § 17A.17 and IUB administrative rule 7.22.